After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”
In all honesty, I have never been particularly wowed by the fact that Jesus was able to walk on water. The wow factor is somewhat diluted when you consider His ability to turn water into wine or raise Lazarus from the dead. What is pretty amazing is that Peter was able to do it. Peter? Certainly not someone I would trust at the helm of a boat, let alone someone I would choose to be my chief disciple. Often bawdy, ego driven and impetuous, no other disciple seems to have had the knack for routinely aggravating Jesus. An unlikely candidate for sainthood, an extremely unlikely candidate for walking on water. But it is his trust in Jesus that eventually rocks his world. The flawed ordinary Peter becomes someone rather extraordinary. Fear becomes courage, doubt becomes trust. Regrets become potential. We can completely miss the point of the story if we focus only on Peter’s rough edges. His flaws are nothing in light of his momentary leap of faith propelling him on the water. Leaping from the boat he goes to Jesus and for that one brief moment he forgets about the driving winds and the rough sea. But what we must remember is that just as that storm will not overcome him, so too our storms lose their punch when we hear and respond to the Lords call. Our life is often a stormy and scary place. Jesus says, “Come let go of your fears”. He is our lighthouse, our beacon of light, our life jacket in a sea of uncertainty. Jump in and follow Him. Put on your bathing suit, have a nice swim and enjoy the water.